There's been a lot of noise lately about Twitter's new policies to combat harassment on Twitter while trying to balance your rights to privacy and free speech.
Brad Friedman's insight:
Let's explore the latest developments in Twitter’s new policy, as well as a look at the safeguards currently in place on other social media platforms (such as Facebook and Instagram). http://bit.ly/1N4KaZD
Facebook has 1.3 billion users, more than 900 million people use Twitter, and an hour of video is uploaded to YouTube every single second. In the last decade, social networks have fundamentally changed the ways we connect, build communities and share ninja cat GIFs.
So much about health care seems perfectly matched for this modern landscape of social media: All those heart-wrenching stories of recovery against the odds, inspiring new robotic inventions, cases of doctors who just care too much and loads of “you’ll never believe” medical research.
But when it comes to social media, the health sector is just getting started.
“Healthcare is habitually late to the party when it comes to marketing and communications, as it’s a heavily regulated industry. Social media is no exception,” said Amanda Changuris, a social media marketing analyst at Highmark and an advisor to the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media.
“The good news is that there are now some truly excellent minds putting the medium through its paces for the benefit of patients, physicians and the public in general,” said Changuris.
What can social media and medicine do? From organ donations to #FOMO (which stands for “fear of missing out”), here are nine ingenious examples of health care making the most of social networks:
Opening Operating Rooms to the World
If blood and gore doesn’t make you squeamish, tune into live hospital video streams. Health organizations are tapping into our fascination with medicine and human anatomy by broadcasting surgical procedures via social media.
The Swedish Medical Center in Washington State ran a live broadcast of a cochlear implant surgery and followed up with emotional video of the patient listening to music for the first time. Memorial Hermann Hospital in Texas showed a six-pound baby boy being delivered via cesarean section live from the OR on Twitter. UCLA broadcast live on Vine during brain surgery, showing the Parkinson’s patient playing country music guitar mid-operation.
A screenshot from a video intended to reduce fears about the “snip”(YouTube/ World Vasectomy Day)
And in 2014, the doctors behindWorld Vasectomy Day took it a step further with a single-day live broadcast of 25 vasectomies. Over 10,000 viewers tuned in to the video stream of surgeries, international video interviews and short documentaries — all as part of advocacy efforts to reduce fear of “the snip.”
Crowdsourcing Tough Medical Diagnoses
The average patient who signs up to a website called CrowdMedhas been sick for about eight years, spent more than $55,000 on medical expenses and still doesn’t have a diagnosis for their disease. The crowdsourcing startup helps patients reach a network of “medical detectives”— mostly healthcare professionals and medical students across 23 countries—with their tough medical cases.
One patient, Juliette (pseudonym), found a diagnosis and cure in just two weeks for a painful swelling condition that had kept her bedridden and undergoing surgery for two decades.
“Our ‘medical detectives’ spend an average of 11 hours per month solving medical cases on the network, which is more time than the average user spends on any other online social media,” said Jessica Greenwalt, co-founder of CrowdMed.
“They devote a lot of time to researching diagnoses and communicating with patients.”
Raising Millions for Clinical Research
When four-year-old Eliza O’Neill was diagnosed with a rare pediatric disease, her parents turned to social media with a poignant video.They’ve now raised more than $2 million for Sanfilippo Syndrome from 30,000 donors and are working with Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio to speed clinical trials for a promising cure.
Campaigns like Eliza’s and the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge —which raised $115 million in just a few months — prove just how potent a platform social media can be for raising funds and awareness. The social media model is now being used for everything from #strongarmselfies for colon cancer to buckets of soapy water for Ebola awareness.
Tapping into #FOMO for Public Health
UCLA studied using social networks to drive up peer pressure and combat the spread of AIDS. The Harnessing Online Peer Education(HOPE) study found that social media conversations could triple the request rate for at-home HIV tests in high-risk populations in just three weeks. The researchers are now focused on expanding the study’s lessons to combat substance abuse, depression and bullying.
“I think there’s a huge potential in social media—not necessarily because of social media itself, but because everyone uses it,” said Sean Young, executive director, UC Institute for Prediction Technology and UCLA Center for Digital Behavior and the primary investigator on the HOPE study.
“Researchers are typically behind the curve in terms of what people are using in technology. People who want to find sex partners, who want to find drugs, they’re going to use the most up-to-date technology to do that. Researchers need to stay ahead of the latest tech trends to keep up.”
Mining Social Data for Life-Saving Trends
The massive, real-time trove of public social media data is a potential gold mine for medical researchers. For example, University of Pennsylvania recently found that angry tweets were a strong predictor of fatal cardiac disease. According to the study, the “model based only on Twitter language predicted [heart disease] mortality significantly better than did a model that combined 10 common demographic, socioeconomic and health risk factors, including smoking, diabetes, hypertension and obesity.”
Screenshot of a real-time Ebola tracking map from researchers at Northeastern (Emily Peters)
Researchers at Northeastern University created a real-time map tracking international Ebola awareness through tweets. In Italy, scientists improved on Google’s Flu Trends to create accurate “syndromic surveillance” of flu through Twitter. While the potential for social media in research is huge, there are emerging debates about the ethics and accuracy of using the data.
Direct Messaging Candidates for Clinical Trials
An estimated 30 percent of the work of a clinical trial is spent on patient recruiting, and difficulty finding patients is cited as the top reason that clinical research is delayed. Social media is changing this fast.
A graphic developed by PatientsLikeMe(PatientsLikeMe)
In fact, one study in the journal Pediatrics found that 84 percent of patients for two recent pediatric rare disease trials were referred via social media. The patient social network PatientsLikeMe even has a tool to automatically match members to over 45,000 clinical trial opportunities. Patient recruitment via social networks could lead to quicker and more cost-effective research for cures.
Paging Doctors About the Conversation
A heat map of salaries for general surgeons by region. (Doximity)
Strict privacy restrictions made social media a dangerous territory for medical professionals early on, but the healthcare sector is adapting quickly.
Professional networks such as Sermo, Doximity and Figure 1 have created physician-only social spaces for collaboration. Doximity has gone so far as to crowd-source information on medical training and salaries to provide back to its doctor membership. Mayo Clinic’s Center for Social Media has been a leader in helping doctors and medical organizations to dip their toes in the social waters.
What’s Trending? Organ Donations
When Facebook added a single organ donation question to their timeline, over 57,000 people announced their intentions to be donors, and 13,000 officially joined their state registry in a single day— an increase of 21 times over normal registration rates, according to Johns Hopkins researchers. The long-term impact of Facebook’s organ donation campaign is still being studied, but it’s a hopeful step for the over 100,000 Americans currently on organ waiting lists.
Making Disease Awareness Personal
Lastly, a social media campaign made use of Facebook’s unique features to cleverly raise awareness of a terrible disease. In Holland, health advocates photoshopped people into pictures of events they never attended and then tagged them on Facebook. A followup message said, “Confusing, right? You’re now experiencing what it’s like to have Alzheimer’s disease.” Skip to the bottom for a video with details of their ingenious social campaign.
All the examples above took place in the past few years, which suggests that this potent combination of social media and medicine is still in its early days. Despite concerns about consumer privacy and some reticence from healthcare leaders, researchers, doctors, and patients have found fresh new ways to make the most of the social networks that connect us all.
The minute Laura met Casey, she was smitten. The tow-haired little boy captured her heart as soon as she walked into his hospital room. He seemed so small sitting in his hospital bed, reading to his stuffed rabbit. Laura was a semester away from graduating from nursing school and had been scared to start her pediatrics rotation because she had never been around children. Casey’s infectious smile tugged at her heartstrings, and she soon loved most aspects of pediatric nursing. She had found her niche.
Even when she wasn’t assigned to Casey, she tried to stop in to visit with him and his family. He adored Laura, too, and his parents enjoyed the attention she gave him. She popped her head in to say hi one morning and she noticed how exhausted Casey’s mom looked. Laura offered to stay with Casey for a few minutes while his mom ran to the cafeteria. Casey’s mom was thrilled, of course, and happily agreed. Casey was doing better; he would be going home soon, and her clinicals were coming to an end. She would miss him. To capture the moment, Laura asked a fellow student nurse to take their picture. The friend obliged, and Laura posted the sweet pic on Facebook that night – complete with caption, “I’m gonna miss this little guy –graduation is just 23 days away!”
You can see what’s coming – right? Laura didn’t graduate from nursing school – that one, at least. The dean of the school pulled her out of class the next morning, where she was promptly expelled. That Facebook picture had been seen by Casey’s mom, and she wasn’t happy. She was threatening to sue the hospital and the nursing school. The school lost its clinical privileges, and Laura’s story was presented at the state nursing board’s monthly meeting as a warning on the dangers of incorporating your professional life with your social media accounts.
Don’t let Laura’s story be yours. The best way to keep your job is to keep your job far, far away from any of your social media accounts. Here are some tips to stay social media savvy:
*Be careful with any pictures of you in your scrubs, especially if the name of your hospital or name badge can be seen. In fact, some nursing schools and health care organizations have rules against drinking alcohol in public if you are in uniform.
*Never, and I repeat, never talk about your patients, post pictures of your patients, take pictures of your patients, or in any way reference that you ever encounter actual patients on your social media accounts. Ok, maybe not that extreme, but even if a post is really, really tender or funny – ask yourself how it would look to your boss before posting.
*Beware of any pictures you take or post from the nurse’s station. More than one nurse has posted a smiling selfie without noticing a computer screen in the background that was chockfull of identifying patient information.
*Add an extra layer of protection to your social media sites. Don’t make your sites public; limit posts to friends only. If your boss or other manager also has an account, you might consider blocking them so they can’t even see your profile. (This doesn’t mean you can post willy-nilly, but it’s another level of protection.)
*Don’t include the name of where you work on any sites. Some people will even use an alternate name, such as a maiden name or nickname on the account.
*Don’t trash talk your peers. Even if they deserve it. Especially if they deserve it. I guarantee there’s a rule against it.
It boils down to this – be conservative. Always err on the side of caution when posting to social media sites. It’s far better to have an edited online identity than it is to be editing your resume.
LinkedIn may be the worlds largest professional social network, but if it's not careful, it could face major competition from an increasing number of niche networking startups.
... “If enough of those sites get popular, and if LinkedIn does not do something to bring in those types of users, then they could be threatened one day from all of those users looking for resources that are better suited to their needs,” says Gartner analyst Brian Blau. He calls that phenomenon “death by 1,000 pin pricks.
”The fact is, bigger is not always better in the world of social networks. That’s no big secret in Silicon Valley today. Mark Zuckerberg is shelling out billions of dollars for small messaging apps like WhatsApp that are vying with Facebook for attention on phones and tablets across the globe, and he’s been all but shouting from the rooftops about how he is disassembling Facebook as we know it, transforming it from one big app that does everything, to many smaller apps that do just one thing.....
I had the opportunity to travel to Orlando at the beginning of the week to the HIMSS (Healthcare Information & Management Systems Society) conference. Coming from frigid New England, while I enjoyed the opportunity to NOT wear a coat outside with temperatures in the 70’s, I spent 98% of my time inside the Orlando County Convention Center (which by the way is one of the longest convention centers ever, and after wearing high heels for my time spent there, by feet are still recuperating).
Because healthcare IT is one of the few industries that is truly growing and prospering, especially as it pertains to technology (think Obamacare and his requirements to get all hospital switched to electronic health records) this show has become a beast. In fact, HIMSS is the largest healthcare IT gathering of its kind, with 37,000 people attending this year and thousands of exhibitors.
This becomes an issue when you get off your flight, and think you will quickly make your way to the taxi line to get to your hotel, and stand in a line that’s at least 100 people long. 45 minutes later, I finally got in my taxi. And if you think you are going to grab a bite at one of the many eateries on site, get ready to stand in line.
Lines, lines, lines. A common theme at HIMSS. Take a look at this line to Wednesday’s keynote speaker, Hillary Clinton. This was the accompanying tweet from HIMSS’ Twitter feed: “This is why the #HIMSSanity hashtag exists! 90 mins until @HillaryClinton takes the stage! #HIMSS14” 90 minutes before! My feet ache just looking at that photo.
Which is a good segue, as the hashtags, social media “tweet-ups” and social media ambassadors that that existed at HIMSS were amazing. You knew what was happening on a second-by-second basis due to the amazing volume of tweets coming at you on a continual basis.
I’ve seen the rise of social media in healthcare firsthand. In 2008, when social media was relatively new in the healthcare arena, we helped our client embark into the social media space, starting about two months prior to HIMSS that year.
We got them a Twitter account, followed the right organizations, in hopes that they’d follow us back. By the time we got to HIMSS that year, they had a respectable Twitter following, and we helped that client to tweet their thoughts on the developments at HIMSS as they happened from the comfort of their booth. And, better yet, we had their Twitter feed broadcast live on a monitor in the booth. Passersby stopped to look at the tweets, and were intrigued.
Fast forward to HIMSS 2014, and saying social media has evolved exponentially would be an understatement. What was relatively a new concept in 2008 has burgeoned.
As John Lynn said in the EMRandEHR.com blog: “This year I think we’re seeing the evolution of social media into essentially a standard part of the HIMSS conference. Just like you expect conference sessions, keynotes and an exhibit hall at the conference, you now expect social media to be there as well. Social media is finally a permanent tenant at HIMSS.”
In fact, according to this tweet, these are the social media statistics from #HIMSS14:
170, 850,829 social media impressions63,239 tweets13,952 social media participants666 average tweets per hour
Wow! The stats speak for themselves.
Being able to see firsthand how social media has evolved in healthcare has been a fun ride. What used to be a relatively hard sell to our client’s CEOs is now something they ask for when engaging us.
Long live the power of social media. Now if they’d only come up with a social media app for sore feet, I’d be all set.
The questions plaguing many corporate leaders these days about social media include: How can we take best advantage of this continually-changing platform for business, sales, and reputation enhancement?
Want to tweak your social media marketing strategy to gain better results, but unsure of what to do? In the second installment of this s (In case you missed it, check out our latest blog post on marketing through Facebook!
We all know that social media plays a huge part in building and boosting your personal brand in the digital world, but do you feel lost sometimes with all the different social media channels and are not sure where to start?
There are tools that can help!Here are 9 cost-efficient social media tools that we recommend to help make your personal branding efforts easier.....
Wall Street Journal Social Media Fail to Live Up to Early Marketing Hype Wall Street Journal Rather than try to keep pace, Ritz-Carlton spends time analyzing its social-media conversations, to see what guests like and don't like.
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